Birk Genetics is a family operation owned and operated by Kelvin and Marsha Birk. We have two grown children, Kelsie and Adam, who continue to be involved in the operation along with our son-in-law (Kelsie's husband) Charlie Meier. We now have the third generation of Birk Genetics coming on strong with two grandchildren.
The Birk Genetics breeding program consists of utilizing AI and ET in order to consistently produce the highest quality breeding stock possible. We are relentless in our search and evaluation of AI sires, and only use those sires that will allow us to produce cattle that will excel for us and our customers. We evaluate potential sires thoroughly for the benefits that they can add to our herd, but also for any negative aspects that they could add. Every mating at Birk Genetics is a planned mating, taking into consideration the cow or heifer's strengths and weaknesses, and mating her to a bull that complements her strengths and weaknesses.
In order to constantly improve our cattle and better serve our customers, we utilize all of the tools available for measuring and comparing our cattle to each other and industry standards, including recording performance records such as individual weights at birth, weaning and yearling, EPDs, $indexes, DNA, and visual evaluation. Every animal on our farm has been DNA evaluated and has genomic-enhanced EPDs, which are much more accurate and reliable than EPDs that are not enhanced by the DNA data on the individual.
We focus on all traits of economic importance. Our breeding program focuses on producing breeding stock with calving ease, high growth with limited stature and mature size, superior maternal traits and excellent carcass, that are feed efficient, docile, and have good feet and are slick-haired. It is a lot to strive for and takes a lot of work. It would be much easier to focus on only a few traits, or to focus on the most growth at any cost, but that would not serve our customers well in the long run.
Almost all of the bulls we raise can safely be used on yearling heifers, and every one of them can be used safely on cows of any age. In fact, 90% of the bulls we raise are qualified to be used in the Missouri Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program.
Our selection pressure on high growth with limited stature and mature size has resulted in our average bull produced being in the top 5% for growth while maintaining mature size at breed average.
Our constant awareness of carcass traits has resulted in our average bull possessing carcass values in the top 2%.
In addition to the above attributes, the bulls and heifers we raise must have superior maternal traits, be feed efficient and docile, and have good feet with slick hair in the summer, or they will be culled.
The relentless pursuit of excellence at Birk Genetics has resulted in the average bull and heifer produced here with a $C (Combined Value $Index) in the top 1% of the breed. This level of quality is unheard of and illustrates our commitment to producing Angus seedstock with superior balanced traits in all areas of economic importance.
We also maintain a large commercial herd of the highest quality. We utilize DNA technology in our commercial herd and we have DNA data on every cow and heifer through Method Genetics scores. Our daily direct involvement in the commercial beef industry keeps us very grounded in our registered herd, and keeps us focused on producing bulls that meet the needs of the commercial segment of the beef industry.
We feed our commercial steers, culled registered bulls (steers) and culled heifers in a commercial feedlot to finish and market on a grid that rewards top quality cattle with premiums. We recently obtained premiums of $228.19 per head for our steers born in Fall 2021 and harvested the first week of 2023. These steers achieved over 50% Prime and every steer that wasn't Prime was Certified Angus Beef. This was at a time when the prime premium was much lower than it had been. The premium per head would have been much higher if the steers had been harvested at an earlier time.
We sell the best commercial heifers. We recently sold some commercial heifers with a Method Genetics ROI score average of 251, which is in the upper percentiles in this competitive group of cattle. Depending on our space and resources, we sell these heifers as open yearling heifers or as bred heifers.
We also have select groups of commercial cows to sell. Contact Kelvin to inquire about our current offering of commercial females.